prepare your website to be indexed by google and bingHave your website indexed by search engines quickly by following these simple steps.

The primary goal once your website has been launched is to have it appear in search engines for those searching for your brand and start to attract visitors. In order for this to happen in the shortest amount of time possible, the search engine’s web robots or spiders should be notified about your new site.

Once search engines are made aware of your new or newly re-designed website, it then enters the queue for search engine spiders to come crawl through your site’s pages in order to index this content in their search listings.

An extra step should be taken if your site has gone through a re-design for any url changes (page links) to be indexed effectively – if this is the case for you, please see the end of this post about how to create page re-directs using your htaccess file, or contact your webmaster.

*Please note that if you do not submit your website to major search engines such as Google and Bing, they will still eventually crawl and list your website, you can just help speed up the process and help ensure your site is crawled thoroughly and without errors the first time around.

  1. Scan and validate your website with the W3C validation tool.
  2. Select your preference for www. Or non-www. web address and forward the other to the primary domain with htaccess.
  3. To forward non-www to www

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.%{HTTP_HOST}/$1 [R=301,L]

    To forward www to non-www (replace web address with your domain name)

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^your-domain\.com$ [NC]
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [R=301,L]

  4. Create a robot.txt files to instruct robots which areas of their site are to be indexed and what is to be kept hidden from search engines. You can also prevent search engines from crawling and adding your websites’ images to image searches depending on your goals.
  5. Create a webmaster tools account with Google and/or Bing search engines.
  6. Create, upload and submit a xml sitemap.

Important Note: If you’ve undergone a re-design, you most likely have renamed some pages for further page optimization or are moving to an entirely different web address or domain name. If you fall into this category it is important to create a list of re-directs within your htaccess file to notify the popular search engines of any new page names so you do not lose any current ranking for a particular page. Similar to the scenario where you put in a request at the post office to redirect your mail to a new address when you move.

Here is a great post about creating redirects in htaccess file »

To create permanent page redirects in htaccess, use your ftp editor to open the hidden .htaccess file under the root folder of your website (usually public_html) into a text editor such as Notepad or TextWrangler.

redirect 301 /folder/oldpagename.html
redirect 301 /folder/oldpagename2.html

* It’s important to note to NOT add http:// link before the filename, and use a single space between old and new web pages listed.